Methods of media control

There are a variety of methods for controling the media of which ownership, advertising, information sources, flak with government pressure and anti communism. These five methods are quite important in controlling the media because they affect who the reader is, the size of the newspaper and the usefulness to various businesses.

Ownership and size are two very important elements within the media as the giants may be owned by companies such as GE among many others. This means that they have a responsibility towards their ownders rather than towards themselves. To some degree they must be careful not to go against the system of beliefs of the owners or else face the consequences.

Another form of control advertising can be considered as quite an important factor in controling the content of a newspaper, magazine or television channel. For example if we buy a magazine from the NRA then it is very likely that they will be pro-military as well as pro-weapons. In comparison when buying a magazine about computing then we find that they may discuss macintosh computers, pc, or even Linux depending on who the sponsors are and the interest of their readers.

The topic of information sources is an interesting topic of discussions. Agencies and jouranlists must know a lot about various issues in order to comment on them although sometimes it is impossible for them to know enough. Press releases from organisations such as the ICRC, Greenpeace, the ILO and various governments are usually written by people within the organization who are part of th public relations sphere. Their main aim is to convey favourable information about their employer and the journalist may then rephrase the release for his particular employer.

Flak is used to bring attention towards the problem which may arrise from giving information which goes against an organisation or government. As demonstrated within "The Insider" discussing the Tobacco industry it is an interesting film demonstrating how the media are controlled. In every situation where companies are threatened and presidents are to be elected information is used both to discredit the opposition as well as to pressure the media into making sure to give one point of view rather than another. Flak may also be seen as people complaining about program content, for example complaints about television adverts where an ethnic group is offended or where people are simlpy unhappy with the content and the way they may be portrayed.

As an addition to that the right to reply is an important element of communicating and defending one's own reputation and organisation. It can be used for good as well as for bad but the main point is that it keeps within the norms of the International declaration of human rights and of course of free speech.

Anti communism during macarthiest times was probably one of the most powerful sentiments and a form of which hunt. It is a very effective method by which many of the major media conglomerates could control people's views towards socialism. If the media encourage movements against some of the great people of the time because of their ties then the wokers are downtrodden to the glory of the industry and the owners of the press may be satisfied by this view. Over the years of course anti-communism has lost some of it's appeal since it has lost in importance except where Cuba is involved.

Overall although we believe that the government may have been important in the propagation of their own agenda what we find instead is that the bug businesses and organisations set the government's agendas. There are bodies set up such as the AIM in america or the ITC and other organisations within Great Britain who control what information is heard to some degree.